The people highlighted in Showcase 12 have problems. Some are as trivial as a scheduling conflict; others are pathological or criminal. The shorts themselves are a fragmented bunch, with a few standing strong but many in need of a little doctoring.

My Friend Peter: A Beaver-esque tale about a disturbed (but amusingly so!) guy who connects to the world via a monkey puppet; his success is about as believable as his piss-poor ability to throw his voice.

The Dual at Blood Creek: Such a silly but entertaining trifle hardly deserves the gorgeous cinematography it boasts; its twist is a cherry.

All of Me: Sex Over Seventy: If you want to hear an 84-year-old woman read her sex poetry with lines such as, “We laughed as you corrugated my nipples,” this short’s for you.

On the Beat: Soat: Essentially an animated music video that seems to star beans, Skittles, and fruit as they take the shape of dancers.

Abduct Me!: A ridiculous, poorly acted skit about a dude who gets jerked off by an alien.

Sold: Twelve minutes of tension as a kidnapped journalist tries to escape her captors.

Wiccan Tease: Another slight, occasionally funny bit about a young witch and a guy crushing on her that features stiff performances and the spot-on line, “You know, this is such a waste of time — and eye makeup.”

Tell-Tale: Carla Gugino raises this salacious short’s profile playing a Carla Gugino type; Clifton Collins Jr. co-stars as an investigator interrogating the femme fatale in this otherwise weak take on The Tell-Tale Heart.

Oh Baby, I Love You!: Forget the whimsical story about a young woman with a sexual tic — this film has the best O-face ever.

Mon., Sept. 12 at 9 p.m. at E Street Cinema
Sat., Sept. 17 at 4 p.m. at Atlas Arts Center